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Nexus 4 Ordering Woes Brought Back Unpleasant Memories



All the way back in September, I experienced a nightmare iPhone 5 pre-order. The one that I had seen in my dreams the night before the device went on sale. AT&T’s website was a mess. Customer service representatives couldn’t tell me anything. My order essentially remained in limbo all the way up until a day before it arrived on my doorstep. It was a maddening process. I did not expect to feel this way again for awhile. Then, the Nexus 4 entered the picture.

On November 13th, the Nexus 4 went on sale on Google’s Play Store only to sell out almost immediately. At that point, I wasn’t interested in buying one. However, I lived through the process vicariously through the experiences of the users who were greeted with site errors, unhelpful customer service reps and a lot of uncertainty. Yes, like the iPhone 5 pre-order process, the Nexus 4 process was a nightmare. Just not for me, at least not yet.

Read: My iPhone 5 Pre-Order Nightmare Came True.


The LG Nexus 4 ordering process was dreadful.

Over the past few weeks, I have waged an internal battle. Part of me wanted to buy the Nexus 4 when it came back to the Google Play Store. The other half was not nearly as intrigued by Google’s new Nexus. This morning, like so many others it seems, Google shot me an email alerting me to the Nexus 4 would be coming back into stock today at Noon Pacific.

It was time to decide.

Again, like many others, I was counting down the minutes before I would have the opportunity to place an order for a Nexus 4. Notice how I said opportunity. I still hadn’t convinced myself to buy it. Tick tock, tick tock. Tick tock.

Knowing that Google had placed the Nexus 4 up early the first time around, I arrived early to the Google Play Store, eager to put a Nexus 4 into my cart so I could sit there, staring at it, weighing my options before ultimately deciding whether it was worth it. Almost immediately I knew the next hour or so would be an absolute nightmare.

Arriving on the Google Play Store at about 11:59 and 26 seconds, I was immediately greeted with a familiar face. The red “Sold Out” sign hanging where an “Add to Cart” button should have been. Cache issue? Perhaps. Firefox issue? Could be. So I cleared my cache on Firefox and reloaded the site. No dice. At this point, I decided to switch to Safari.

Safari told me a different story. Instead of mocking me with a “Sold Out” notice, I was treated to another beast. Safari let me add the Nexus 4 to my cart, only it told me that I’d have to wait for several weeks before I’d see my Nexus 4 arrive. 4-5 weeks for the 8GB Nexus 4 it told me. 1-2 weeks for the 16GB Nexus 4. Keep calm and carry on I thought to myself.

At this point, I clicked on Add to Cart, and thought I’d be able to sit back and weigh the pros and cons of my potential purchase. Google had a different plan in mind. Like many others, I was then taken to a page with an error telling me that there was a problem with my request and that I didn’t have anything in my cart. Odd, because I just added a Nexus 4 to my cart.

Refreshing the page led to more madness. The site flickered between Sold Out and the Add to Cart option that led to an error. My other half clearly had conspired with Google so as not to let me buy the Nexus 4. This took place in all of four minutes.

Read: Nexus 4 Orders Continue in Google Play Store.

At that point, it was clear that Google did not have Nexus 4 stock left for two-day deliver and I’d have to wait. Only up until about and hour ago, I was unable to get past the error screen. And now, I’m left with even longer waiting times. The 8GB Nexus 4 is sitting at 6-7 weeks and the 16GB Nexus 4 says it’s shipping out in 2-3 weeks. So much for an impulse buy.

Maybe even more frustrating than the fact that I didn’t even have the chance to place an order for a Nexus 4, even when I showed up early, is the fact that Google wasn’t ready for the second go-round. I thought that it would have learned its lesson after the meltdown that took place earlier this month when it first went on sale.

Who am I kidding? AT&T’s been selling the iPhone for years and it too completely failed with the order process for the iPhone 5. I just hope that unlike AT&T and Apple, Google learns from these mistakes and does better next time.

Who knows, maybe they would have sold a few more Nexus 4’s today.



  1. Brock

    11/27/2012 at 4:47 pm

    They’re still selling them and at this point they’re pretty easy to get. If you want one, just go to the site now and buy it.

    If you get it in the cart and it says error, just keep refreshing until it lets you through. I’ve been through several times already with no problem.

  2. Deb

    11/27/2012 at 5:10 pm

    Actually this time it went smoother, at least for me.

    They simply kept increasing the promised shipping delay – started with 1-2 weeks and is currently at 7-8 weeks for 8gb version. This is effectively preorder behavior that everyone wanted.

    Of course those who were looking for Christmas gifts will have to buy the 16gb version – it is supposedly shipping in 2-3 weeks.

  3. Carson

    11/27/2012 at 6:07 pm

    I failed on the first launch and failed again at noon today but I was just now finally able to buy a Nexus 4! Google is so awesome at everything that I can cut them some slack here. It would have been nice if they let people sign up and get on a waiting list several weeks ago though….

  4. Jim S

    11/27/2012 at 8:13 pm

    I think most people miss the point. Google simply switched on the preordering. The phone availability is still “weeks in the future”. The shipping estimate was 1-2 weeks from the very beginning (now it is up to 7-8 weeks). I placed my order on 11:59:45am seconds after the phone became available. See more details at

  5. Rico M.

    11/27/2012 at 9:45 pm

    I was able to finally and successfully purchased a 16GB version with a 4-5 weeks wait period (hopefully no longer than that!). There was no website error.

  6. thomascrichardson

    11/28/2012 at 6:52 am

    I know this feel.

    Seems like Google really needs to count the cost regarding whether they want to be in the device retail game.

    Something someone once said: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

    On the other hand, the concept of shame is essentially irrelevant today, so perhaps they’ll make their calculations solely on the bottom line. If that results in more of what’s gotten their device retail service this far, simple end-use consumers like me will continue to look elsewhere – and that is a shame.

  7. HelloNexus

    11/28/2012 at 10:04 am

    Got mine on launch day, for a good hour of literally refreshing the page each second I knew I had to have this phone, yes I woke up early off of 4 hours of sleep after a 12.5 hour shift but I’m glad I’m not in this back order mess, my best phone to date.

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